ELMER HAS PERSUADED MRS. THOMAS TO GIVE US AN ARTICLE ON AFRICAN
VIOLETS. SHE HAS BONE SO AND WE PROUDLY PRESENT IT. HER TITLE IS
RATHER INTRIGUING AUNT LENE
MRS HAROLD THOMAS, R. D. 3, Box 87, Dwight, Illinois
LIKING AFRICAN violets, showing them, meeting people, and giving
advice and ideas, and getting to do just that at the Threshers
Reunion at Poniac, Illinois, the last few years, is the reason I
call it ‘My Vacation’. A friend had asked where we were
going on our vacation and when told, he asked, ‘Do you call
that a vacation?’ I do and maybe you’d like to know some of
the things I tell them.
What a thrill it is when they come back the next year and tell
how their violets grew and bloomed, after I answered their
questions Some even brought plants and recipes for fertilizer etc.,
and everyone was happy.
The reason nine out of ten have bad luck is that they keep them
too wet. Yes, they need to be wet but like yourself, they don’t
want wet feet all the time and they need air as well as water at
the roots. Having several hundred, it is much easier to water them
from the bottom with a hose, from the hot water tap, although they
do need to be watered from the top once in a while to wash minerals
down to the roots. Let them soak up good and then don’t water
them unt’l the soil on top feels dry and once in a while the
leaves feel a little withered. Fertilize once a month.
They are grown in basement under fluorescent lights. and are on
a timer being on 14 hours and off 10 hours a day. They are set in
large pans sixteen inches below lights in a frame made by my
husband and son from an old wind-mill tower. The pans have a drain
at one end and a device to raise one end so they will drain
My, how they grow and bloom, and what a thrill to find new ones,
single, double, frilled and spotted, in bloom each day, to bring
upstairs where my friends and I can enjoy them.
I start them in small clay pots and leave them there as long as
they bloom, as they need to be root-bound to bloom well. I put
aluminum foil around pot when ringing them out of the basement so
they won’t dry out too fast.
This year a man came to me and asked, ‘What do you do to
make them bloom, bet you won’t tell me?’
My first question to him was, ‘What size pot do you have
them in?’ and that happened to be the right question for it was
the cause of his problem.
These things I’ve learned from experience and I like to pass
them on. There are no strangers among violet lovers.
TO EARLENE, THE SCHOOL MARM
To Earlene the School Marm, Co-editor of the IROM-MEN ALBUM,
Pastor’s wife, housewife, and mother of a lovely daughter. If
anyone says you have not enough to do and need a Hobby, I’d say
try it yourself. I hope I may call you my Dear Friend. I am the
woman you took to the Fairgrounds at Montpelier from the downtown
area. I was so glad to become acquainted with you.
My husband has been keeping the IRON-MEN Magazine at the office
so I did not know about your going ahead with my suggestion of
having a Woman’s Page in the magazine. I had thought of it as a
good ideait makes me think of the page the women had in the
‘Old Threshermen magazine. I always enjoyed it and was
delighted whenever they would print something I had submitted.
You suggest writing about hobbies as a leader for a subject. I
have had so many and find that it is hobbies that help to make life
interesting not only the work under production at the time but also
it is a way of meeting new friends that are interested in the same
things that you are.
At present, and for the last five years I have been doing oil
painting My nephews wife gave me my first lesson. I had always
liked to paint walls and furniture so that the handling of paint
was always fascinating to me. After trying to work alone for a
while I enrolled in an art school and still attend classes locally
whenever we have them where I can attend. This is just to be near
people and friends who think as I do. It is fun creating pictures.
Sometimes I paint landscapes, sometimes still life, and then
sometimes dreams. They are all fun to do.
This hobby has also opened up the privilege of meeting many
great artists. One day while in Philadelphia I was looking at some
paintings that were on exhibit at the time, and an old gentleman
was doing likewise. He later introduced himself as Bert Philips. We
discussed the pictures and he at the time, unknowingly, gave me a
lesson in composition. Last summer while in Taos, New Mexico, I
visited him at his studio and saw some of his beautiful paintings
of the Indians. This was only one incident. I could tell you of
many other artists I have met.
Of course, I do like my garden, especially I like to raise
vegetables and flowers. But since I am not physically able to do
too much digging around especially during hot weather, it was a
good thing to learn to paint so I can still produce them even if it
is on canvas. I have submitted to the art shows and it is always
exciting to know that your picture was accepted by the jury and
even greater if you can win ah award and I am still hoping to win a
prize. I am anxious to hear about the women that run a Hobby Shop.
Have dreamed some about that and it will be interesting to know how
others have succeeded.
My regards to your husband and daughter
MRS. FRED (Margaret) HEIDE, 1307 Grant Street, Niles,